Free Aint What it Used to Be

Fellow authors, FYI…

I just did a Amazon/KDP free giveaway for THE GENERAL STORE, my latest novel, another undiscovered comic fiction masterpiece. Over a three day period with one day of intense Twitter spam, 130 free downloads happened. Earlier in the month I gave away EVEN STEVEN for 2 days. It realized 78 downloads. I also did a 2-day freebie for THE WALKING MAN. 398 downloads happened. For both EVEN STEVEN and THE WALKING MAN I did zero pre-promotion, and maybe 1 tweet each during the free period.

Six months ago when I did a KDP giveaway, several thousand downloads would happen.

Follow-on sales for THE WALKING MAN were zippo. EVEN STEVEN sold 8 copies. The returns for THE GENERAL STORE are pending.

I think this data suggests readers are waiting for free. To me, it also suggests once a book has launched and received decent critical acclaim, like THE WALKING MAN, a free offer is not a good thing. It de-values the work.

I’m doing a combo of blogging and advertising moving forward. I’ll let you know how it goes…I’m not doing Twitter spam again. All my tests show it is super annoying and produces near zero return.

Sales were way down this month. Just enough to buy 2 tacos. Not enough to buy a super-sized Mountain Dew. Damn. Still have lots of fun being indie. It was a great first year. I released three novels and made lots of new friends. It has been a tremendously fun and positive experience.

I’m going to release a Christmas compendium along with some e-publishing advice next month. Look for WRIGHT FORBUCKS, THE EARLY YEAR.

And put 3 dollars in your 2013 budget for BILLY GRIST, my comic fiction masterpiece…



Bless Me Father for I have Sinned.

I just finished my third novel, THE GENERAL STORE, and hit the publish button at It is another work of comic fiction. This time an environmental/sex comedy set in the small town of Apple, Massachusetts. I wrote THE GENERAL STORE due to my subconscious desire to be excommunicated from the Catholic church. I’ve always wanted a bishop, or perhaps a cardinal, to knock on my door and yell at me like a home plate umpire, “You’re Outta here!”

I’m not sure how many sins THE GENERAL STORE commits because the sin-counter on my word processor has been disabled by a virus, but there is one chapter where every other word is mother f*!!*#* and another where an well-endowed young man does something improper with a Wendy’s chocolate Frosty.

I can’t say I’m proud about writing a book with no redeeming qualities, but I’m fairly certain it does contain a few scenes that will make most readers smash their Kindles on the ground and laugh until their sides hurt, and what’s wrong with that, especially if you got one of those new Fire tablets that constantly freezes and randomly shouts ‘redrum!” while you’re trying to read.

I also believe THE GENERAL STORE has a few noteworthy quotes, including the first rule of infidelity, “Don’t cheat with a woman that looks like an orangutang if your wife is a kick-boxer.” I also believe the book has one of the all-time great opening lines, but I’ll leave that to you to judge. (Go to Amazon and click on preview, if you’re too cheap to throw down the $2.99)

Now comes the hard part of writing a book, selling it.

With my last work, THE WALKING MAN (11/18 Five Star reviews) I did the twitter thing. This means I spent my time trying to sell my book to other authors who are generally too busy writing to read. I also did the Free KDP Select scam, giving away 10,000+ books to earn enough money to buy a pack of used condoms. This time around my plan is to advertise. Pure and simple. I’ve read there is no worse return than advertising an ebook, that readership must be earned by sending hand-signed letters to book bloggers, and begging literary rock stars for a retweet. My fear is this is true, but nonetheless I plan to advertise. Now I just have to find a web site with a million viewers that will accept an ad for a book about a man with a big one – a really big one.

Hmmm, maybe Funny or Die!